●The most different thing to mark
Zen Shiatsu is "Shiatsu on the abdomen".
To do special abdomenal Shiatsu is characteristic of Zen Shiatsu Therapy. Well, why do we apply such abdomenal Shiatsu? This is an application of "Hara Diagnosis" of Kanpo medicine (the Japanese classic pharmcology), and giving Shiatsu treatment, we examine the patient's abdomenal conditions at the same time. Then the form of the finger is different on the abdomen. Dis you recognize it? Yes, the practitioner apply Shiatsu with four fingers keeping them straight without bending. This is the form of finger technique in abdomenal diagnosis in Zen Shiatsu. And this action of giving pressure by the four fingers is not a Shiatsu treatment, but the practitioner is trying to get proper diagnosis by examining abdomenal conditions.
●Understanding the illness by the abdomenal
Some explanations should be needed here. I wrote "Understanding the illness", however, we can tell "Kyo & Jitsu" of the body in fact. Explaining this in medical science, we understand good or bad points (distortion) of the conditions of the whole body. But, how? We get such informations by reading the condition of the abdomenal walls, and checking stiffness and hurtfull areas during applying pressure with Shiatsu techniques, which is called "Pressure Responce". If there is no problems, or when we are really healthy, "the abdomenal walls are soft and elastic and we don't feel any pains during receiving Shiatsu on the abdomen " in nature. However, this "Pressure Responce" of the natural condition will be changed when we do overwork, or get fatigued, or have diseases. To put it more concretely,
1．The abdomenal walls become strain hard or weakly flabby soft.
2．The abdomenal muscles become strain hard.
3．There are some stiffness in the abdomen.
4．There are some painful parts in the abdomen during receiving abdomenal Shiatsu
The condition is called "Jitsu" when the abdomen is on the strain, which shows that this person is strong physically enough (against diseases), or this person's resilience (physical power to be recovered) is strong. On the other hand, when the abdomen is frabby and weakly soft, and the person feel sharp pains in the deep part of the abdomen, we call this condition "Kyo". Then it shows that this person is physically weak and powerless to recover from illness.
●It's impossible to distinguish "Kyo
& Jitsu" in appearance.
Please take a notice that we cannot tell "Kyo & Jitsu" correctly by looking the person in appearance. For examples, a person who has a healthy complexion and looks strong with quick movement, he/she looks very healthy and never get illed at first appearance. He/she seems to be strong enough to recover quickly even if he/she get diseases, and you may think that his/her abdomen must be "Jitsu". However, in fact, we often see "Kyo" condition when we examine the abdomen even if the person looks "Jitsu" type person. Also, unexpectedly in fact, we see many cases that the abdomen is "Jitsu" even if the person looks typical "Kyo"type person with the feeblish slender arms and legs. It is really a strong merit for Zen Shiatsu therapists to be able to judge how much the patient has his/her resilience by examination on the abdomen by this special Shiatsu technique. This is the reason why we try to see "Kyo & Jitsu" diagnosis on the abdomenal Shiatsu.
●Judging the Total Health Conditions by Examining the Abdomenal Conditions
This is written in the books about the abdomenal diagnosis of Kanpo Medicine, however, it takes me long long time to understand this theory. The techniques of Abdomenal diagnosis of the Kanpo Medicine was developped in the Edo era (1603-1867). However, the wrritings in those days were very fragmentary and it is hard to understand the detailed contents for modern people. Therfore, I have decided that I would start to read the parts what I can understand the meanings clearly and would examine and inspect the unceratained parts by my own clinical experiences. While I kept doing trial and error, I gradually became to see the outlines of Oriental Medicine what is said to be abstract. What I found at first was that "The total health conditions are deeply linked with the conditions of The Abdomen". Let me expalin what I mean with an example. Suppose that a healthy person has kidney disease on a day suddenly. Then, this person was not really "Healthy", but he/she was in a bad condition to tell the truth, which can be said that his/her bad condition had been under the senses or under the conciousness. "Understanding the health conditions on one's abdomen" means that we can catch such "Bad Conditions" which are hiden under his/her senses on the abdomen. "Bad Conditions" deeply inside the body can be a "bombshell" which leads a serious illness. In fact in many cases, if the person has large and firm distortion of "Kyo & Jitsu" in his/her abdomen, he/she becomes sereously illed when he/she falls sick before the distortion of "Kyo & Jitsu" is improved on. In another case, when we examine the abdomen of a neurotic who seems to be a man of good address during the session and seems not to have any physical troubles, we find the person's abdomen is powerlessly frabby waek. It means that this person keeps up appearances and is window dressing on the surface, however, the true nature is weakly powerless and sinks markedly inside. If there are any chances, some remarkable symptoms of a disease are shown up on such persons unexpectedly on a sudden. "What? How come?"or "What' s going on?", we ask sometimes ourselves and are flurried at unexpected symptoms. Such kinds of cases are mostly phenomina that the bad conditions deeply inside in the body come up to the surface. It might be difficult for you to understand this explanation, but this is what I could understand with my experiences comparing with the writings about the abdomenal diagnosis on the books of Oriental Medicine. When a patient keeps to receive Zen Shiatsu treatment, the symptoms of diseases become lightened and reduced, at the same time, the abdomenal condition changes to become better responsively. Moreover, I have known the fact that "the patient will get better for sure when the abdomen keeps a certain elasticity left even if the present symptoms are severe". Therefore, I can say ,"It won't take so long time for you to get better", if the person's abdomenal condition is "Jitsu" judging from the abdomenal diagnosis. In fact, he/she takes a favorable turn.